Bhubaneswar: While presenting her second Budget, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the Budget is woven around aspirational India, economic development and caring society. The Union Budget for 2020-21 has also been termed an 'all-encompassing' Budget as it touched upon all the aspects of economy.
On the Budget, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the new reforms announced in the Budget will speed up the economy, financially empower every citizen of the country and further strengthen the foundation of the economy. Besides, he said that setting up of 100 airports in the country will boost tourism and there is more possibility of employment and income generation with lesser investment in the sector.
However, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik expressed mixed reactions on the Budget. While welcoming the tax cuts on cooperative societies to 22 per cent and increase of deposit insurance cover to Rs 5 lakh per depositor, he expressed his disappointment over no hike in grants for most central schemes and negligence towards the State in tourism sector.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said the Budget has nothing and termed it 'hollow'. "The country's main issue is unemployment but I didn't see any strategic idea that could help youth get jobs. I saw tactical stuff but no central idea. It describes govt well, lot of repetition, rambling... All talk, but nothing happening," Gandhi was quoted as saying.
Union Minister Smriti Irani took a jibe at Gandhi for his comment and said, "Did he even understand it?" She termed the Budget as a progressive, inclusive, pragmatic and futuristic one and said that it will not only fulfill aspirations of common man and lay foundation for a stronger economy, but also has the measures to encourage and facilitate the role of women in India’s growth story.
Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram said, "There is nothing in the Budget that leads us to believe that growth will revive in 2020-21. The claim of 6 to 6.5 per cent growth next year is astonishing and even irresponsible. The government is in complete denial that the economy faces a grave macro economic challenge and the growth rate has declined in six successive quarters."
Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said the gap between rhetoric and reality is too much. "We have gone from Stand Up India to Sit Down India. This was a lot of re-packaging of old slogans. But I think there is some relief for the middle class in the form of tax deduction," he said.
BJP National Vice-President Baijayant Panda said the dramatic drop in personal income tax from 20% to 10% & 30% to 20% will be a huge boost to consumer sentiment, consumption and the economy.
Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that the Budget will hugely uplift the rural economy, youths, women, tribals and socio-economic backward classes. "As Odisha has such aspects more than any other State in the country, the budget will be most beneficial to Odisha," he said.